Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon 2021, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California

Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma Cabernet from our Rhinefarm is shy – it doesn’t reveal itself quickly. Napa Cabernets often announce themselves as the life of the party but Rhinefarm Cabs are serious, dark and deep with lots of food-friendly tannin. They’re designed to age, Bordeaux-style. Cooler nights and cooler mornings help shape our style of Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as our meticulous handwork in the vineyards. The grapes need a long time to ripen to perfection and thus, are the first vines we prune since they need that extra time to develop. With this grape, patience is key to creating beautiful, vineyard-driven wine. In general, we pick Cabernet Sauvignon around Halloween before the rain arrives for the winter, then optically sort them with as much gentle handing as possible. The vines are planted on the steep, southwestern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, ranging from 150 to 300 feet in elevation and eight miles north of the San Pablo Bay. The soil profile is a shallow, Rhyolitic volcanic ash, typical of the alluvial fans that comprise the lower Mayacamas Range. With its southwest facing slopes, the site receives optimum sunlight and temperatures during the growing season. Pervasive maritime breezes and long daylight exposure allow fruit to develop intense concentration while retaining vibrant structure. Hand harvested in the cool morning hours by block, we optically sort the grapes and give them a five-day cold soak before fermentation. We use gentle pumpovers to achieve color and flavor extraction, tailored by lot and employ louvers and screens to avoid pumping seeds and skins. The wine enjoys 18 months in 100% French oak, with 45% new barrels, before being released.